florists caris haughan and vanessa partridge

Creativity is alive and well in the country Victoria town of Kyneton, which is about an hour's drive from Melbourne. It's being hailed as the new Daylesford. This is in part thanks to small and beautiful shops such as Prunella, a floristry run by Caris Haughan and Vanessa Partridge. The creative duo have known each other since when they were both living in Melbourne. While they come from different backgrounds - Caris has managed restaurants all around the world, and Vanessa has worked in advertising, marketing and PR, they set about opening a florist shop. However, they do more than just flowers. They also offer styling services, and are about to embark on a series of workshops. The first will be on August 20. You can email them for details, otherwise keep an eye out on their website for more.

Which five words best describe you? It's - all - about - the - detail.
How did you get your career started and what path have you taken since? Caris and I often talked about opening our own space; it was a bit of a dream of ours. We have a heartfelt passion for flowers, we get absorbed in styling our homes, it's what we've always loved to do. So when a cute little corner shop in our lovely country town became available we applied... and got it! It was a pretty crazy thing to do, and we had to fit our new business around our professional and family lives, but we did it. It was a baptism by fire, but it's been fantastic. We've learned so much over our first year and had such amazing feedback. We have an original take on flowers and styling, and we've come to realise that's our greatest strength.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? No matter what you're doing now, your experience counts and it will be useful (even if you may not think so at the time).
What’s your proudest career achievement? All of the accomplishments that have came with our first year of having the business. Hearing our customers' wonderful feedback, delivering our brides perfect vision on her wedding day and enjoying how everyone who comes into our space really loves it and leaves inspired.
What’s been your best decision? Our best decision by far was to take a chance and start Prunella - everything has fallen into place along the way, we have been blessed by our wonderful customers and the exciting work we've been able to do so far. Our friends and families, our mentors and all the creative people we are surrounded by here in Kyneton.
What are you passionate about? Our work. The beauty and detail in objects - natural, found or designed. We love transforming a space with flowers and objects - be it a corporate event, a wedding or a family home. Providing people with the beauty of flowers is very inspiring. We're also very excited about our new weekend workshops, which will give us a chance to inspire our customers even further.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Draper, Coco Chanel (can we have three?).
What dream do you still want to fulfil? We have some exciting plans for Prunella so we're dreaming of a rosy future. We'd love some overseas adventures... New York, anyone?
What are you reading?
Design blogs, any design mags we can get our hands on - we love World of Interiors and Elle Decoration UK, Spanish AD and Uppercase Magazine, Annie Leibovitz at Work, Paul Bangay's gardening books.

images courtesy of prunella

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